India vs South Africa: AB De Villiers’ team’s strengths & weaknesses
India and South Africa face each other in the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 on Sunday. The winner of the match will enter the semi-finals.icc champions trophy 2017 Updated: Jun 11, 2017 09:43 IST
South Africa are in a similar situation as India, their opponents on Sunday, having won their first game before losing the next to virtually make their last group encounter a knock-out one. While India were outclassed by Sri Lanka on Thursday, South Africa fell to Pakistan after rain played spoilsport. Although on paper the Proteas have always been a terrific side, they will have to overcome defending champions India if they want to stay alive in the tournament. HT looks at their strengths and weaknesses ahead of the tie:
Batting firepower: The side has one of the deadliest batting combinations with AB de Villiers, Quinton de Kock, David Miller and Faf du Plessis in their ranks. All are proven match-winners and can turn the course of a match single-handedly. While Hashim Amla (103 against SL) and Faf du Plessis (75 against SL) and David Miller (75 against Pak) have already proved their worth, others too need to contribute to help their side post an imposing total.
Imran Tahir: The wily leg-spinner has been taking wickets almost at will since the Indian Premier League. He played an important role behind Rising Pune Supergiant reaching the final and had 18 wickets to his name from 12 games. In the Champions Trophy as well, he has now picked up four wickets; albeit all of them came against Sri Lanka in the first game. However, besides picking up those wickets, the miserly economy rate at which he bowls is also a huge factor.
Fielding: As sloppy as India have been on the field, the Proteas have been that prolific. Apart from Kagiso Rabada dropping a return catch against Upul Tharanga and a half-chance against Niroshan Dickwella, none of the South Africans have missed out on any chances that came their way. De Villiers had also pulled off a brilliant run-out to dismiss Dinesh Chandimal in the first game.
AB De Villiers: The swashbuckling batsman is going through a poor run of form of late and at the Champions Trophy, the situation has not improved one bit. He was out on 4 against Sri Lanka and a duck against Pakistan after scoring 216 runs in 9 innings at the Indian Premier League, including a knock of 89.
Kagiso Rabada’s form: While Imran Tahir and Morne Morkel led the charge against Sri Lanka and Pakistan respectively, the sensational Kagiso Rabada is yet to shine with the ball. He has picked up just one wicket so far in the tournament so far and has given away 82 runs in 15 overs. He had a decent IPL season and a lot was expected from the 22-year-old.
Batting collapse: While Hashim Amla (103) and Faf du Plessis (75) led the charge against Sri Lanka, David Miller (75) was the sole batsman who seemed to play sensibly and guide his team home against Pakistan. The rest of the batsmen simply haven’t done enough to prove their mettle and must consolidate on their starts to help their side reach a formidable total.